Disclaimer: As a Virtualization Field Day 4 delegate all of my flight, travel, accommodations, eats, and drinks are paid for.  However I do not receive any compensation nor am I required to write anything in regards to the event or the sponsors.  This is done at my own discretion.

VFD-Logo-400x398Virtualization Field Day 4 is right around the corner, taking place January 14-16 in Austin, Texas!  Now, I’m trying to be smart and perform due diligence to the sponsors by doing a little pre-blogging and research on all of the vendors that will be participating.  There are a total of 8 sponsors, and honestly, without them, Virtualization Field Day would be pretty boring.  They are the ones that derive up the content and spark up the great conversations that happen over the three days both at the event and over Twitter.

Some of the sponsors I’m very familiar with, however there are some, that I’ve simply just heard of (thus my need to research).   So, without further ado, here’s a small glimpse into 4 of the the 8 wonderful sponsors making #VFD4 possible.  Watch for a post with the remaining sponsors soon!

CommVault

commvault-logo-wpcf_100x38I had always been under the impression that CommVault was somewhat of a newer company, not quite “startup” status, but I had always just assumed they were a decade or so old – I couldn’t be more wrong.  CommVault had actually been formed as development group within Bell Labs  a way back in 1988.  To put 1988 into perspective, well, I was 10 and Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup – I have a son who will soon go through the first situation himself, the second, well, I don’t see Lord Stanley in oil country any time soon 🙂  Yeah, so back to CommVault.  1988 places CommVault at the 17 year mark – certainly a long period of time for a software company to be around.  The magic sauce at CommVault is their flagship product – Simpana.    Simpana dubs itself to be “A Single Platform to Protect, Manage, and Access all of your companies information” and does so by providing customers with one code base, one product that handles all of your backup, replication, archive, and recovery needs.  And by all they truly mean all – Simpana has support for physical servers, virtual servers (VMware and Hyper-V), desktops, laptops and even support for backing up and archiving individual application items such SQL databases and Exchange emails.  One driving feature behind Simpana that sparks my interest is the ability to “migrate” or backup/restore to/from VMware, Hyper-V, vCloud, etc – this can definitely give customers options in terms of disaster recovery.  Simpana has a ton of features, too many to go over on a small intro blurb so check them out yourself – I can’t wait to see what CommVault has to offer for VFD4 and you can bet that I’ll summarize it as best I can here.

Dell

dell_blue_rgb-wpcf_60x60This was one of those lesser known companies that I’ve never heard of and had to do a little research on (Sorry – that was really a bad joke 🙂 ).  This will be Dell’s first time presenting at a Virtualization Field Day – they have certainly been present at Networking Field Day, Storage Field Day as well as a couple Tech Field Days but this is their first go at a VFD.  Dell is a huge player in terms of virtualization and the company covers almost, if not all components of a virtual data center – meaning they sell servers, networking, storage, software and services all relating to virtualization (server, desktop, networking, storage) technologies.  With that said, the mystery of what component Dell is going to present on is definitely making Dell number 1 on my most anticipated sessions.  The fact that the Dell sessions will be held deep within the guts of their Austin headquarters is also a pretty awesome perk.

Platform9

Platform9Logo-wpcf_100x42Less than 6 months after coming out of stealth Platform9 is positioned to give their first ever appearance at a Tech Field Day event on Wednesday afternoon.  From what I can tell Platform9’s goal is really to take the simplicity, agility, and convenience of the public cloud and apply that to a customers on site, local hardware – kind of like, yup, you guessed it – a private cloud.  There is a lot of competition in this space – and to tell you the truth, I personally don’t have a whole lot of experience with either Platform9 or their competitors, so I can only go on what I see on their website and what I have heard others say – this will change come next week during VFD4.   Currently Platform9 supports KVM, vSphere, and Docker – whether or not this will be expanded I have no idea.  The highlights I have noticed are the fact that the Platform9 management layer is somewhat hypervisor/technology agnostic, meaning vSphere/KVM VMs, along with Docker containers are all treated as what is called an instance within Platform9, and it’s 100% cloud managed, delivered in a SaaS model.  All of this, built on OpenStack – which could be a huge +1 on their part if they have simplified this enough.  Again, I can’t find very much in terms of demos or videos out there, so I’m very excited to see what Platform9 has to offer come next Wednesday.

Scale Computing

Scale_Logo_High_Res-wpcf_100x38Scale Computing has been around since 2009 which makes them somewhat of a veteran in terms of converged infrastructure – but the fact is, unlike Simplivity and Nutanix, Scale started out on a different path.  They broke into the IT world by shipping scale-out storage – NAS/SAN models which were targeted toward the SMB market to help drive companies cost of storage down while providing a very simple, easy to use storage solution.  This all changed in 2012 when Scale announced the availability of HC3 – a scale-able, clustered hyper-converged node architecture that included their core storage, but now with compute and virtualization thrown into the mix.  By 2012 Nutanix already had a piece of hardware shipping, with Simplivity not long to follow the year after – but their seems to be a few things that differentiate the HC3.  Perhaps the biggest being target audience – Scale has always, and is still very focused on the SMB market, which means price is one of the major differences.  In order to drive down price, Scale developed their very own fork of KVM, meaning their offering comes complete – no need for VMware or any other hypervisor/management licensing.  The HC3 peaks my interest as SMB has a lot of potential with virtualization – a lot of small companies just getting started or still exploring virtualization options.  I’ve not explored HC3 in enough detail to see if they have what it takes in terms of benefits and features to become a viable player – so I’m very anxious to see what they have to offer at VFD4.

And then there were four…

In efforts to keep this post small enough for someone to read (and to give me a break from writing) I think I’ll take the remaining four VFD4 sponsors (Simplivity, SolarWinds, StorMagic and VMTurbo) and place them in a second post.  Watch for that sometime soon!

Virtualization Field Day 4 kicks off next Wednesday, January 14th – As always, it is always live-streamed so you too can join into the action by watching live stream one the VFD4 landing page and participate in the conversations via Twitter using the hashtag #VFD4.  Can’t wait!

Disclaimer: As a delegate all of my flight, travel, accommodations, eats, and drinks are paid for.  However I do not receive any compensation nor am I required to write anything in regards to the event or the sponsors.  This is done at my own discretion.